Read this week’s ‘Letters to the Editor’


Guess who foots the bill

With the owner of the Riverside “auto shop” not paying property and school taxes for the past four years (“Cops raid Riverside building,” Oct. 20), I’m wondering if maybe many of the adults that were living above the auto shop were paying the taxes instead? If, in fact, no one was paying taxes whatsoever, then it would have to be up to the rest of the homeowners and taxpayers of the town to dig a little deeper into their own pockets to make up the difference for the “several school age children” that were attending school.

As a retired person, I have to wonder just how many other children attend our schools without their parents paying one cent in taxes, and thus another reason why, for the rest of us, our school taxes are though the roof.

Thomas W. Smith


Decisive action out of Town Hall

Having transplanted myself here from Queens two years ago, I became distressed to note that graffiti—one of the things I came here to get away from—was taking a foothold in Jamesport, at the beach, on road signs and most distressingly, on the LIRR bridge on South Jamesport Avenue. After asking a friend how to proceed with a complaint to the town, I called Councilman George Gabrielsen, who told me that he would look into the beach situation and contact Councilman Jim Wooten, who interfaced with the highway department. Mr Wooten called and explained to me that the LIRR mess is the railroad’s responsibility, and a letter would go out to the LIRR regarding the matter; I received a copy of the letter within the next two days. It was addressed to the president of the railroad. I called Mr Wooten to thank him for his efforts, and asked again about the road sign graffiti, which looked especially bad with all the election signs adjacent to it. I explained to him that I felt that this was not just an aesthetics issue, that it was indicative of a problem here, and that it is important to fight it in every way possible.

Mr. Wooten’s response was quick and decisive; he felt that graffiti must be eliminated by all available means, and within a couple more days the road signs were cleaned up, and to my great surprise, the walls of the LIRR bridge were repainted yesterday.

Notice I have not mentioned the election, party affiliations, or politics so far. I am a registered Democrat, but I prefer to think for myself. I voted for Governor George Pataki and NYC mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg. After having spoken to Mr Wooten, and seeing the action taken, I still think this is not about politics; it is about public service, and Mr. Wooten is a fine public servant. If you have a problem, call Town Hall. The only way things can get done is if our town officials are made aware of situations. And don’t forget to vote.

Vincent Spampinato


We need a fresh face in Congress

Neither Tim Bishop nor Randy Altschuler is the answer for our next congressman. Bishop caters to and receives support from special interest lobbyists. Mr. Altschuler made his $90 million by creating 10,000 low-wage jobs in India and making 10,000 American people lose their jobs.

There are about 220 millionaires in Congress. Mr. Altschuler would be the 221st millionaire in Congress. If you think Mr. Altschuler cares about the people of the 1st Congressional District, please check with the 10,000 people whose jobs he destroyed.

Our Democratic and Republican committees insult our intelligence and mock us by their repeated actions.

Warren McKnight


Can’t circumvent the system

I would like to amplify what Larry Simms appropriately and skillfully put a spotlight on in his News-Review Guest Spot (“Board wars: town vs. planning vs. zoning, ” Oct. 13).
The fact that the town supervisor seems to feel that the Planning Board must take direction from him and other Town Board members or face threats from the town supervisor is disturbing, if not outrageous. It is difficult for me to imagine that all the Town Board members would be on board with this kind of thinking.

Previous boards have spent a great amount of time and money to establish what I think is a substantive blueprint. This was accomplished in an open, bipartisan process that involved significant public participation and input. It was almost a beautiful thing to watch. While the plan surely is not perfect, and things do change over a period of time, I feel the town’s master plan was a worthy effort by both the town government and its citizens.

For the current supervisor to indicate that he feels the master plan is a “load of crap” is an insult to all who were involved. What Mr. Walter advocates not only seems outrageous, but also appears to be unlawful. There is a lawful process in place to adjust the master plan and the resultant zoning laws. While I perceive that the supervisor and Town Board members are certainly entitled to their opinions, they are bound to fulfill their agendas in a fair and forthright manner. This is part of what they call “checks and balances.” The planning and zoning boards are in place to serve all taxpayers, not the supervisor, not the other Town Board members and not the developers.

I urge all taxpayers to recognize the gravity of this issue and vote accordingly. The supervisor justifies his attitude by indicating that he and the Town Board have been elected by the taxpayers. Please note this is not the first time the current supervisor seems to think of himself as sort of a benevolent king. Get out the vote!

Andrew Benners


Get your facts straight

In response to Robert Svoboda’s letter about Town Assessor Mason Haas (“Bipartisanship is key for town assessors,” Oct. 20), I would like to state the following.
I am an independent title examiner. I have worked in the title industry at the Suffolk County clerk’s office for 34 years. I spend much of my time at the county clerk’s office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

I would like to state clearly that Mr. Haas has not done any title work since he took office as Riverhead Town assessor. I look for a candidate that is honest and does their homework and speaks about the facts. That is what we need in our town government.

Linda Oliver


Now, this is annoying

Why did Councilman Gabrielsen put a campaign sign on my lawn? He did not ask me and I did not give him permission to put that ugly sign on my property. Do I mow around it or pick it up to cut the grass then put it back into the lawn? We, my neighbors and I, groom our lawns and grow flowers because they are delightful to look at. Campaign signs on otherwise beautiful property cause blight; they are not nice to look at. Perhaps Mr. Gabrielsen could initiate legislation to ban campaign signs on all residential property in the Town of Riverhead. That would be a feather in his cap and would get him votes. Mr. Gabrielsen, please remove your sign from my lawn.

Jim Dreeben


Banks had their marching orders

With the Occupy Wall Street protesters blaming the banks for the recent housing crash, maybe it’s time for a history lesson. The Community Reinvestment Act that President Jimmy Carter put into effect in 1977 is the single biggest factor for our recent housing crash. One only needs to read this and look back over the past 30 years to see how this happened. Our own government as well as community groups and organizations put tremendous pressure on banks to give out these questionable sub-prime loans in order for banks to get favorable CRA ratings. Twenty percent downpayments were hard to come up with. In order to push out these loans, banks had to lower their standards (downpayments) from 20 percent to 15 percent to 10 percent to 5 percent to — you guessed it — zero money down.

In 1993 President Bill Clinton added changes to put more pressure on the banks. Was there greed involved at the banks? You bet, but it was our own government that created this mess. That is why we had to bail the banks out. This was a 30-year process. Right now everyone should be protesting in Washington. The future will be the time to protest the banks, as soon as they drop their down payment standards again. If not, history will be destined to repeat.

Jim Breitenbach


Sean just doesn’t get finances

You can’t take the reigns as town supervisor, raise taxes higher than any other town in Long Island for two successive years, fire employees, cut services and not know to pick up $250,000 that’s owed taxpayers and still expect to win re-election.

In the candidate debate in Calverton, Mr. Walter admitted he was unaware at the time he fired town employees that the town had a $15 million surplus, a fact that an independent audit recently confirmed. He fired 13 people unjustifiably, claiming the town was nearly bankrupt.

Walter had two years to prove his competence. The result is clear: He’s not competent. Phil Cardinale did an immeasurably better job dealing with Riverhead’s finances. Phil will restore skilled and experienced leadership to Riverhead.

Vasso Patrikis


Angie is a win-win for Suffolk

Suffolk County is at a crossroads its residents have never had to face. This is why we must elect Angie Carpenter as our next county executive. She comes to the table with many years of experience as both legislator and treasurer. She is compassionate and dedicated coupled with the willingness to address the serious issues soon to confront all of us. We must note that our infrastructure is beginning to erode. Who is to blame? We all know that for many years the Democrats have been in the executive chair, not the Republicans.

We don’t need, nor can we possibly bear, another two years of inept leadership at the county’s helm. Angie’s time has indeed come. I have the utmost faith that Angie Carpenter is capable of guiding us through hard times with visions gleaming of a bright future. Many of my fellow citizens and taxpayers share this same vision of a better future with Angie.
Angie Carpenter, from what I can observe, has a good rapport with county employees. In the workplace, people seem to like and trust her. From personal knowledge, all of her staff seems very content. As we know, contented workforces are hard to find in tough times. As we near Election Day, we must keep that in mind. Hey, this is our future!

Angie Carpenter is also our future. I know that with Angie leading, we will all enjoy a win-win for Suffolk County.

Frederick Rodgers

Editor’s note: Mr. Rodgers is a part-time Suffolk County employee.